This summer, we were busy with many things and one of those things included visiting new breweries.
As I may have mentioned, we are attempting to visit all the breweries in Michigan. We are using this list, which is ever changing:
Michigan Beer Guide
By that count, we're at 77 total in Michigan that are still open and brewing beer. Andy and I have visited 33 of these, so we're just about half way there. For a birthday trip we visited a few around the Traverse City area, and along the way I may have met my favorite beer.
We started at North Peak Brewing Company.
We had already eaten, but couldn't resist ordering the Gorgonzola Ale Dip and it did not disappoint. We ordered a couple of pints and a sampler.
None of the beers were really anything to write home about, but they weren't bad either. The place itself was lovely and they did do an excellent job in naming one beer in particular.
It felt awesome to say "I'll have More Cow Bell, please."
Next we ventured to Right Brain Brewery
This place was great - if I lived here this would be the brewery I would become a regular at. They don't serve food, so you know everyone is there for the right reason - beer. They also brew some very unique beers - I think one of ours was an herb beer flavored with basil and other assorted herbs. They do a very good job of flavoring their beers in new and inventive ways but not overpowering you. We enjoyed a sampler.
Beer makes for a happy husband.
The next morning, we went to the Mackinac Brewing Company for an early lunch.
Again, these beers were nothing special. The bartender was friendly and food was good so we enjoyed ourselves enough, but I wouldn't return for the beer.
We took a nice scenic drive out to the Jolly Pumpkin's Old Mission location. Jolly Pumpkin is actually located in Dexter, MI, but Ann Arbor. They had just recently opened up this location.
I loved the atmosphere of the place and we had a tasy BLT pizza. The beers featured were mostly sours and I LOVED them. A lot of breweries don't even attempt sour beers and they had quite a few tasty options. I think I got turned on to sour beers the day I sipped Schomohz's Pickle Tink and I've been in love ever since.
Finally, we ventured quite a bit out of our way to Bellaire so we could visit Shorts Brewing Company.
This may be my favorite brewery yet.
The food was fantastic. The waitstaff was friendly. The atmosphere was laid back and inviting.
And the beer.
The beer was amazing.
Every single one I tried, I loved. And the one I loved the most was the Soft Parade. I want to declare it my favorite beer, but that's too big of a commitment to make. This beauty of a beer definitely falls in my top 3 though.
So our 2 day Traverse City Tour knocked 5 more breweries off the list and introduced me to the new beer love of my life. All in all, a darn good birthday getaway.